Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky has entered an agreement with MTU Aero Engines to provide maintenance, repair and upgrade services for the engines of the German Air Force’s CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters.
The new CH-53K helicopters will be deployed to replace the airforce’s traditional and ageing CH-53G aircraft fleet.
The aircraft is powered by three T408-GE-400 turboshaft engines developed and delivered by GE Aviation. The power turbines for the T408 engines are manufactured by MTU Aero Engines.
The three-stage power turbine is capable of generating 7,378-rated shaft horse-power, in addition to the exhaust casing and output shaft.
Under the terms of the deal, MTU will be responsible for carrying out the maintenance, repair and modernisation work for the advanced engines of the German Air Force’s CH-53K helicopters.
MTU Aero Engines Defence Programmes senior vice-president Klaus Günther said: “The CH-53K and its engine were developed to support the heavy-lift requirements of the 21st century and meet the highest security standards.
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“Demonstrating reliability, unprecedented performance and impressive power reserves, the T408 engines ensure that missions can be safely carried out even in the harshest operating environments.
“With its triple redundant fly-by-wire flight control system, advanced corrosion-resistant composites, and unparalleled power, the helicopter can fly missions in extreme temperature conditions at an altitude of up to 3,000m.”
The CH-53K aircraft is capable of easily lifting an external load of more than 16,000kg, which is more than triple the external load-carrying capacity of the CH-53G aircraft.
The wider cabin of the helicopter facilitates the transportation of more cargo or troops with fewer trips.
Sikorsky, MTU Aero Engines, and GE Aviation have been collaborating on the CH-53K project for the US Marine Corps since its beginning.
Sikorsky is currently constructing a total of 200 CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters for the US Marine Corps, which will be delivered together with 800 T408 engines.